With Joel Embiid limited to just 31 games during his first three years in the NBA because of injury, the Sixers were bound to place injury clauses into the big man’s new five-year, $146.5 million contract extension.
Now details of the team’s protections are coming to light.
According to a report early Wednesday from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks, “for the Sixers to curb the ultimate value of the extension, it would take the triggering of several severe circumstances detailed in a 35-plus-page contract.” The report states the deal is $146.5 million, not the $148 as ESPN originally reported.
Per the report, the deal allows the Sixers to release Embiid and avoid paying the center the full amount of his max contract if he misses game/minutes benchmarks for injuries to preexisting problem areas (feet and back).
“Across each of the final four seasons of the extension, ending with the 2022-23 season, the 76ers could waive Embiid for a financial benefit if he's lost because of a contractually agreed-upon injury that causes him to miss 25 or more regular-season games and if he plays less than 1,650 minutes, league sources said,” the report states.
On the other side, Embiid is able to lock in certain monetary markers of his own — including the full value of the contract — if he is able to play a certain amount.
“If Embiid met that narrow criteria and the Sixers decided to waive him after the 2018-19 season, he would receive $84.2 million of his full contract; $98.2 million after the 2019-20 season; $113.3 million after the 2020-21 season; and $129.4 million after the 2021-22 season,” the report states.
“What's more, if Embiid played a minimum of 1,650 regular-season minutes in three consecutive years during the extension, or three out of four including the 2017-18 season, those benchmarks would eliminate the possibility of a reduction in the contract, league sources said.”
Embiid has the opportunity to push the value of his contract even higher to $176 million (not $178 per the original report) — or the maximum allowed under his designated rookie scale extension, more commonly referred to as “the super-max” — if he is named to one of the All-NBA teams or is named MVP this season.
Embiid, who is expected to be ready for opening night after undergoing surgery last spring to repair a torn meniscus, spoke after practice on Tuesday about signing his lucrative contract.
“I’m in an amazing position,” Embiid said (see story). “It just shows you how much the team trusts me. I can’t wait to go out there and play, especially for the city of Philadelphia.”